An anchor comment on the tomb of Achilles at Odyssey 24.76–84

2017.01.03 | By Gregory Nagy The Homeric Iliad as we have it refers at least two times directly and two times indirectly to the tomb of Achilles, while the Odyssey refers to it one time directly. In the direct references that we see in the Iliad, it is made clear that this tomb starts off as a small-scale structure, located at the same place where a funeral pyre is constructed… Read more

Getting over Odysseus

2016.09.28 | By Keith DeStone Why does the epic narrative allow Telemakhos, whom it shows on a quest to connect with his father, to remain emotionally unaffected by the stories about Odysseus that he hears from Helen and Menelaos in Odyssey 4? Read more

Trying to read the Will of Zeus

2016.05.26 | By Gregory Nagy For almost fifty years now, I have been consistently translating the Homeric expression Dios boulē, which we find at the beginning of the Iliad (1.5), as ‘the Will of Zeus’, not as ‘the Plan of Zeus’. To put it in terms of what I have published, I have been consistent in using the expression ‘the Will of Zeus’ instead of ‘the Plan of Zeus’ in… Read more

Cataclysm and Ecpyrosis, two symmetrical actions of Zeus as sky-god

2016.05.19 | By Gregory Nagy The question is: what happens when humanity itself is threatened with either flooding or conflagration on a cosmic scale? To express such cosmic afflictions in Greek terms, I have in mind here situations where all of humanity is being threatened with either cataclysm or ecpyrosis. So, to rephrase the question: what happens when Zeus or the gods in general choose to afflict humans with the… Read more